Nov 30, 2012 7:00pm PST
speaker characterized the negotiations to avoid huge tax increases and spending cuts at a stalemate. the race to solve the fiscal cliff triggered another round of dramatic sound bites from republicans and president obama. darren gersh has the latest. >> reporter: the president is still pushing to wrap up a deal on the fiscal cliff before christmas and just in case anyone missed that point, he visited a toy factory to urge congress to avoid raising taxes on the middle class. >> that's sort of like the lump of coal you get for christmas. that's a scrooge christmas. a typical middle-class family of four would see their income taxes go up by about $2,200. >> reporter: the president is proposing to raise taxes by $1.6 trillion, while cutting spending by $400 billion. on top of that, mr. obama asked for $50 billion more for infrastructure spending and $140 billion to extend unemployment insurance benefits and the payroll tax cut. republicans literally laughed it off. >> they want... they want to have this extra spending that's actually greater than the amount they're willing to cut. i mea
Dec 5, 2012 7:00pm PST
: treasury secretary timothy geithner said he's willing to go over it if republicans don't agree to tax hikes for the wealthiest americans. president obama said basically the same thing but added one more hard line to the negotiations. >> if congress in any way suggests that they're going to tie negotiations to a debt ceiling vote and take us to the brink of default once again, as part of a budget negotiation-- which, by the way, we have never done in our history until we did it last year-- i will not play that game. >> late today the president spoke by telephone with house speaker john boehner. no specifics on what they said to each other, but it was their first conversation in a week. eventually the two sides will get down to bargaining over specifics, including entitlements. one idea may be to change the way the government measures inflation. that may sound like a small change, but, as darren gersh reports, it could have a big impact. >> reporter: if the price of oranges goes up, consumers will buy apples and other cheaper foods. we know that. economists call that switching "substitution,"